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health-care policy
issues in oncology

Over 40 Medical Organizations Call for an End to the Government Shutdown

Forty-six medical advocacy organization and professional societies have called on President Donald Trump, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to end the government shutdown and, in...

issues in oncology

Comorbidities and Cancer Clinical Trial Enrollment

Patients diagnosed with cancer who also have other illnesses or conditions, such as hypertension, asthma, or a prior cancer, are less likely to talk with their health-care provider about a cancer clinical trial, are less likely to be offered to join a clinical trial, and are ultimately less likely...

hepatobiliary cancer
issues in oncology

Role of Donor Race in Liver Transplant Outcomes in African American Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Among African American adults undergoing liver transplant to treat hepatocellular carcinoma, patients whose organ donor was also African American lived significantly longer than those with a racially unmatched donor, report authors of a new study using national data. Their findings were published...

breast cancer
gynecologic cancers
issues in oncology

BRCA Exchange: Resource Aggregates Data on BRCA Variants

A global resource that includes data on thousands of inherited variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes is available to the public. The BRCA Exchange was created through the BRCA Challenge, a long-term demonstration project initiated by the Global Alliance for Genomics and...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

Patient Navigation Program Reduces Time to Treatment in Patients With Cancer

Global Cancer Institute recently announced the results of its Patient Navigation Program in Mexico City. The average time to referral before the program’s inception was 5 months, but the implementation of patient navigators reduced that average to 7 days. These findings were published by ...

issues in oncology

27% Drop in Overall U.S. Cancer Mortality Rate From 1991 to 2016

A steady 25-year decline has resulted in a 27% drop in the overall cancer death rate in the United States between 1991 and 2016. The data come from “Cancer Statistics, 2019,” the American Cancer Society’s annual report on cancer rates and trends. The report was published in CA: A...

prostate cancer
issues in oncology

Gleason 6 Score May Underestimate Prostate Cancer Mortality Risk in Black Men

Black men diagnosed with prostate cancer classified as low risk may actually have a more aggressive form of the disease that is more likely to be fatal than in nonblack men placed in the same prognostic category, according to results from a new study published as a research letter by Mahal et al in ...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

2018 Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Survey Report Covers Disease Stage at Diagnosis and More

Nearly three-quarters of patients with young-onset colorectal cancer are diagnosed with an advanced stage of the disease, a significantly higher percentage than has been reported for their more mature peers, according to a report from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. The findings of...

issues in oncology

Quality of Life and Patient- and Clinician-Reported Cumulative Toxicity

New research has found that quality of life for people with cancer is reduced by an accumulation of low-level toxicities just as much as it is from high-level adverse events. Additionally, patient-reported outcomes were more likely to reflect the impact on a patient’s physical well-being than ...

issues in oncology
cost of care

New Study Examines Orphan Drug Exclusivity and Pricing

A new report commissioned by the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and published by the IQVIA Institute demonstrates that the 7-year market exclusivity granted to drugs designated under the Orphan Drug Act of 1983 for rare diseases is working as intended. In nearly every case, orphan...

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

Facing Death: Having the Difficult Conversation With Your Patients

Michael Becker, a former CEO for two biotechnology companies, discusses his terminal head and neck cancer diagnosis and his message for oncologists: be proactive and, at the appropriate time, talk with your patients about death and dying. For more information about Michael Becker’s blog and his HPV ...

issues in oncology

Association Between Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Cancer Risk

New research published by Song et al in Arthritis Research & Therapy evaluated the link between lupus and cancer risk, supporting the data from earlier studies. The newer study indicates an association between systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and increased risk for several cancers (blood,...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Does Tailored Lifestyle Feedback Given During Colorectal Cancer Screening Improve Disease-Preventive Behaviors?

A program that provided individually tailored lifestyle recommendations for patients undergoing screening for colorectal cancer helped encourage healthy behavior, according to results published by Knudsen et al in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. “It is well known that...

issues in oncology

ASCO and Friends of Cancer Research Applaud NCI’s Expansion of Clinical Trial Eligibility Criteria

ASCO and Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) applaud the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) recent revision of its clinical trial protocol template to broaden eligibility criteria for cancer clinical trials. The protocol template was expanded to help increase the opportunity for ...

breast cancer
solid tumors
leukemia
lung cancer
lymphoma
multiple myeloma
issues in oncology
immunotherapy

FDA Pipeline: New Priority Reviews, Designations, and Clearances, Plus Statements on Genetic Testing and Class Labeling

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued the following new approvals and designations: Priority Review for Atezolizumab in Combination With Chemotherapy for the Initial Treatment of Extensive-Stage SCLC The FDA accepted a supplemental biologics license application...

issues in oncology
breast cancer

Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, and Rachel A. Freedman, MD, MPH, on Over- and Undertreatment: Getting It Right

Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, of the University of Michigan, and Rachel A. Freedman, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discuss the twin challenges of overtreating people with cancer and the missed opportunities and dangers of undertreatment.

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Kathy S. Albain, MD, on Breast Cancer, Ethnicity, and Clinical Outcomes: Results From the TAILORx Trial

Kathy S. Albain, MD, of Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, discusses study findings on race, ethnicity, and patient outcomes in hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative, node-negative breast cancer (Abstract GS4-07).

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Roberto A. Leon-Ferre, MD, on Decreasing Hot Flashes: Results From an ACCRU Trial

Roberto A. Leon-Ferre, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, discusses study findings on the effectiveness of oxybutynin in decreasing the frequency and severity of hot flashes (Abstract GS6-01).

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Laura S. Dominici, MD, on Young Women With Breast Cancer: Local Therapy and Quality of Life

Laura S. Dominici, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the lower quality-of-life scores seen after unilateral or bilateral mastectomy compared with breast-conserving surgery in women younger than age 40 who are treated for breast cancer (Abstract GS6-05).

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Shoshana M. Rosenberg, ScD, on Quality of Life and the Impact of Breast Cancer Surgery

Shoshana M. Rosenberg, ScD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses her study findings on the lower quality of life associated with mastectomy, and the need for intervention and timely referrals to supportive resources, especially for underserved populations (Abstract GS6-04).

issues in oncology
symptom management

Alok A. Khorana, MD, on Reducing VTE Associated With Systemic Cancer Therapy: Results From the CASSINI Trial

Alok A. Khorana, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic, discusses study findings on rivaroxaban thromboprophylaxis in high-risk ambulatory patients, which showed a reduction in venous thromboembolism and related death (Abstract LBA1).

issues in oncology

Norman E. Sharpless, MD: Director of the National Cancer Institute: Articulating a Vision

Norman E. Sharpless, MD, Director of the National Cancer Institute, discusses his vision for the NCI in four key areas––big data, clinical trials, workforce development, and basic science––and how this vision affects the hematology community.

prostate cancer
issues in oncology

Dissemination of Misleading Information on Prostate Cancer on Social Media

YouTube videos on prostate cancer often offer misleading or biased medical information that poses potential health risks to patients, an analysis of the social media platform published by Loeb et al in European Urology showed. For the latest analysis, researchers, which included social...

issues in oncology

2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey Shows Increase in E-Cigarette Use Among Youth

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released new findings from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) showing that more than 3.6 million middle and high school students were current (past 30 day) e-cigarette users in...

prostate cancer
issues in oncology

Undertreatment of High-Risk Prostate Cancer in Latino Men

New research by Lichtensztajn et al in JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network examined disparities in care for Latino men with prostate cancer. A team of researchers from UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Stanford Cancer Institute, and...

issues in oncology

Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters, MPH, PhD, on Suicide Among Male Patients With Cancer: Study Findings

Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters, MPH, PhD, of St. Louis University, discusses study findings on married cancer survivors with advanced stage disease who were less likely to die by suicide, highlighting the value of supportive care in cancer survivorship (Abstract 181).

issues in oncology
immunotherapy
symptom management

Allison S. Betof Warner, MD, PhD, on Managing Immune-Related Adverse Events: Incorporating Guidelines

Allison S. Betof Warner, MD, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the rationale for immunotherapy and combination treatments, identifying the agents that lead to toxicities, and ways to manage them.

issues in oncology
pain management

Charles von Gunten, MD, PhD, on Protecting Opioid Access for Patients in Need

Charles von Gunten, MD, PhD, of OhioHealth, discusses the critical need for opioids to manage cancer pain as well as the myth of addiction, which may impede best care.

issues in oncology
palliative care

Mary E. Johnson on Holding Vigil With Dying Loved Ones

Mary E. Johnson, author of Stay With Me Awhile, discusses her play, a compilation of vigil stories from across cultures and religions, and the profound impact the performances have had on audience members.

issues in oncology
immunotherapy

Betty R. Ferrell, PhD, on Quality of Life in the Era of Immunotherapy

Betty R. Ferrell, PhD, of City of Hope, discusses the many advances in immunotherapy and the drugs’ effect on patients’ quality of life, including psychological well-being.

issues in oncology
survivorship

ACS Report Looks at Ways to Improve Outcomes for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers

Growing numbers of cancer survivors, provider shortages, rising health-care costs, and socioeconomic disparities in health outcomes have created an urgent need to provide coordinated, comprehensive, personalized care for cancer survivors. A new report from the American Cancer Society (ACS) creates...

palliative care
issues in oncology
symptom management

2018 Palliative Care: Can an AI-Based App Help Manage Cancer-Related Pain?

A study of 112 patients with metastatic solid tumors found that the use of an artificial intelligence (AI)-based smartphone app reduced both the severity of patients’ reported pain and hospital admissions. After an 8-week period, patients who used the AI-powered app to monitor and address...

issues in oncology
symptom management

2018 Palliative Care: Immunotherapy-Related Adverse Events May Be More Common Than Initially Reported

An analysis of nearly 2,800 patients with non­–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who received the immune checkpoint inhibitors nivolumab (Opdivo), pembrolizumab (Keytruda), or atezolizumab (Tecentriq) found that adverse events may be more common than reported in the initial trials that led...

issues in oncology

Progression-Free Survival and Health-Related Quality of Life in Randomized Clinical Trials

A review and analysis of randomized clinical trials published by Kovic et al in JAMA Internal Medicine questioned whether interventions that prolong progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with cancer improve their health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The systematic review and quantitative...

issues in oncology

ASCO Submits Comment Letters to the FDA on Modernizing Clinical Trials

ASCO recently submitted two comment letters from ASCO President Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, related to the modernization of clinical trials. The first letter provided the FDA with comments on...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Findings From the National Cancer Opinion Survey: Alternative Therapies, Cost of Care, and More

Nearly 4 in 10 Americans believe cancer can be cured solely through alternative therapies, according to ASCO's second annual National Cancer Opinion Survey. This is despite research showing that patients who use alternative therapies instead of standard cancer treatments have much higher...

issues in oncology

The COLORS Training: Online LGBT Cultural Competency for Oncologists

An interactive online LGBT cultural competency training program for oncologists may be acceptable and feasible—and may improve LGBT-related knowledge and clinical practices, according to preliminary results of a pilot study of oncologists in Florida presented by Schlumbrecht et al at...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Prognostic Risk Model for African American Women With Breast Cancer

A prognostic model developed using a machine learning approach may be able to identify African American patients with breast cancer who have an increased risk of death, according to results of a study presented by Bhattarai et al at the 11th AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

2018 ASTRO: Phase I Trial of SBRT for Oligometastatic Disease With Multiple Metastases

The phase I NRG Oncology clinical trial BR001 tested the hypothesis that stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) could be used safely in patients with oligometastatic disease characterized by multiple metastases. Results from the trial indicate that using SBRT is safe as treatment for patients with 2 ...

issues in oncology

Michael Soike, MD, on Brain Metastases: Radiosurgery vs Radiotherapy

Michael Soike, MD, of Wake Forest University Medical Center, discusses results from a large multicenter study that suggests salvage stereotactic radiosurgery leads to improved overall survival compared with whole-brain radiotherapy for patients with progressive brain metastases (Presentation 296 in ...

issues in oncology

Vinai Gondi, MD, on Treating Brain Metastases, Preserving Cognitive Function

Vinai Gondi, MD, of Northwestern Medicine, discusses the early results of a phase III NRG Oncology trial that suggests a practice change in treating brain metastases: avoiding the hippocampus when delivering whole-brain radiotherapy (Abstract LBA9).

prostate cancer
issues in oncology

2018 ASTRO: Radiation Therapy Outcomes in African American Patients With Prostate Cancer

A new analysis of genetic data from a large prospective registry and clinical data from several randomized trials indicates that African American patients may have comparatively higher cure rates when treated with radiation therapy than Caucasian patients. The study, which is the first report...

issues in oncology
immunotherapy
symptom management

Caroline Robert, MD, PhD, on Immunotherapy Toxicities: Expert Perspective

Caroline Robert, MD, PhD, of Gustave Roussy Cancer Centre, discusses managing toxicities of immunotherapy, including neurotoxicity, and treating beyond acute adverse events.

issues in oncology

Matti S. Aapro, MD, on Advanced Disease: Reducing Use of Futile Treatments

Matti S. Aapro, MD, of the Genolier Cancer Centre, discusses the challenges of avoiding futile treatments and the need to work with patients, integrate palliative care, and monitor toxicities.

issues in oncology
cost of care

ESMO 2018: Variations Between European Countries in Time to Reimbursement Decisions for New Cancer Treatments Approved by the EMA

Some European countries take more than twice as long as others to reach health technology assessment (HTA) decisions to reimburse new cancer treatments following their approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The average decision time is longer than 1 year in some countries, according to a...

issues in oncology
gastroesophageal cancer
symptom management

ESMO 2018: Pooled Analysis of Influence of Sex on Chemotherapy Efficacy and Toxicity in Esophagogastric Cancer

In an analysis presented by Davidson et al at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2018 Congress (Abstract 619PD_PR), data were pooled from four UK randomized controlled clinical trials of first-line chemotherapy in esophagogastric cancer, finding significant differences in a...

issues in oncology

Established, Modifiable Cancer Risk Factors

According to a new American Cancer Society report published by Gapstur et al in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the highest priority in a national cancer control plan is the expansion of tobacco control—the intervention with the largest potential health benefits. This report is the...

issues in oncology

ESMO 2018: Precision Cancer Care Moves to Community Setting

Nearly 1 in 4 patients with advanced cancer treated at a community practice cancer network in the United States received innovative drugs matched to DNA mutations in their tumors. These results, to be reported by Alvarez et al at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2018 Congress...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Report Examines Shortages of Oncologists, Variation in Cancer Rates

Doximity has released a new study detailing a concerning trend that could potentially impact cancer care in the United States. Doximity researchers examined retirement trends, percentage of state-trained specialists, and prevalence of breast cancer on a city-by-city basis. The report is the...

issues in oncology

Report Outlines Cancer Risk Among Hispanics/Latinos in the United States

The cancer burden in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory with a 99% Hispanic population, is substantially different from that of Hispanics in the continental United States, according to Cancer Statistics for Hispanics/Latinos, 2018. The report, published every 3 years, found that men in Puerto Rico...

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